BAYTOWN, TX – On July 12, 2023, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Gulf Coast Protection District (GCPD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to partner on the Coastal Texas Project, specifically the Galveston Bay Storm Surge Barrier System. The signing of this MOU marks the first official partnership between these two entities to advance initial planning and design activities under the Coastal Texas Project.
Authorized for design and construction by the Water Resources Development Act of 2022, the Coastal Texas Project represents a systemwide risk management strategy for the coastline of Texas, employing multiple lines of defense to reduce the risk of coastal storm surge and to restore degraded coastal ecosystems. The Galveston Bay Storm Surge Barrier System, which includes the Bolivar Roads Gate System, integrates structural and non-structural coastal storm risk management actions with ecosystem restoration to improve the resiliency of coastal communities and the living shoreline.
"This MOU represents an important step forward in our efforts to advance the Coastal Texas Project and defend the Texas Gulf Coast against storm surge," said GCPD President, Michel Bechtel. "By working together, we can leverage our respective strengths and expertise to develop and implement effective solutions that will benefit our communities and the environment for decades to come."
The MOU is an interim partnership agreement between the USACE and GCPD that allows efforts performed by the GCPD in support of the project to be credited toward the GCPD’s ultimate cost-share obligations as an anticipated non-Federal sponsor for the project. The two entities will work toward a Project Partnership Agreement to serve as the permanent partnership agreement.
"USACE is proud to partner with the Gulf Coast Protection District on the Coastal Texas Project," said USACE Galveston District Commander Col. Rhett A. Blackmon. "This project is a critical investment in the resilience of the Texas Gulf Coast, and we look forward to working together to achieve its goals."
The Gulf Coast Protection District (GCPD) was created in 2021 by the 87th Texas Legislature to oversee the implementation of an integrated and comprehensive coastal resilience strategy for the upper Texas coast. Specifically, this includes assuming the role of non-Federal sponsor for major portions of the federally funded and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers led Coastal Texas Project and Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Program. The GCPD contains approximately 5,220 square miles of land covering Chambers, Galveston, Harris, Jefferson, and Orange counties. The GCPD’s mission is to protect Gulf Coast communities, the environment, and economic activity from storm surge. For more information about the GCPD, visit https://www.gcpdtexas.com/.